Great Britain’s Mineral Products Association has released provisional figures for 1Q14, which point to significant increases in volumes when compared to 1Q13. Sales of ready-mixed concrete increased by 5% y/y, asphalt sales were up 17% y/y, sand and gravel improved by 15% y/y and crushed rock volumes grew by around 18% y/y.
However, it should be noted that sales in the comparative quarter in 2013 were particularly low as the markets were still relatively weak and activity in the housing sector had not yet begun to pick up. The estimated volumes from 1Q14 are also down slightly on the previous quarter of 4Q13. Nevertheless, the MPA points out that the underlying performance in 4Q13 – 1Q14 suggests that construction market growth is extending beyond the housing sector and beyond London and the southeast of England.
Cement data in Great Britain can now only be reported yearly so there are no provisional figures for volumes in 1Q14. However, cementitious sales volumes improved by an estimated 10% in 2013.
“These first quarter figures add weight to the signs of recovery seen in 2013 and provide evidence that we are now seeing a more sustained improvement in construction markets. However we remain over 25% below pre-recession levels of activity and we are very aware of the caution expressed by the Chancellor that the recovery has some way to go*. Government needs to maintain a relentless focus on recovery, notably the delivery of repeatedly announced infrastructure projects, to ensure businesses throughout the UK have the opportunity to grow and invest,” stated Nigel Jackson, MPA Chief Executive.
*Commenting on the provisional first quarter GDP figures, the Chancellor said: “Today’s figures show that Britain is coming back - but we can’t take that for granted. We have to carry on working through our long term economic plan…”
Adapted from press release by Louise Fordham
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcement.com/europe-cis/01052014/mpa_promising_sales_volumes_of_construction_materials_in_1q14_123/